If you read my recap on Tuesday night, you'll know I opened up with a joke about the length of the show. This thing has run all summer long and still isn't finished. While the show may win ratings battles, it's only because nothing else is on. Here are three easy ways to fix the quality of the show to expand beyond the core audience of fans. 1: Cut Down on Auditions
While the auditions can be entertaining, much of the two hour running time in the early weeks of the show is wasted on montages, product placement, and judge tomfoolery. They could easily cut each city down to two hours of auditions. Some cities ran for four hours of auditions. That's absurd. Choose the best and most entertaining auditions to air--focusing on contestants who do make it to the live shows--and leave it at that. American Idol has started to crumble under the weight of too many audition shows; America's Got Talent already feels way too long in its sixth season.
2: Retool the Live Shows
The live shows went on for six weeks before we reached the Semifinals. That doesn't even add up in a logical way. Two extra shows magically appear that only make the show go on longer than it needs to. The show needs to streamline the process. Here's the easy way to do it.
Instead of doing the YouTube auditions as a live show, fold them into Las Vegas. On the first day, the judges see maybe twenty YouTube auditions in person. Those are paired down to the top 8 auditions from YouTube. They make up eight of the forty-eight slots in the Quarterfinals. Then continue Vegas week as originally planned. The rest of the Quarterfinals are chosen from the auditions at the big city cattle calls.
The Wild Card show could be eliminated entirely. The judges would simply choose four acts from any point in the season to move onto the Semifinals. These could be rejected YouTube auditions, rejected open call auditions, rejected Las Vegas callback auditions, or acts that didn't' make it past the Quarterfinals.
These two simple changes cut out six hours of programming from the America's Got Talent season.
I think the show needs to change the past contestant policy. I think you should be eligible to audition again if you do not make the Final 10. Some of the past acts simply won't measure up against the new auditioners. Others will refine their performance style to better appeal to the live show format of America's Got Talent. And still others will impress the judges and fail to spark America's collected interest.
I think a deeper talent pool of recognizable names will lead to more diversity in the Final 10. A magician, artist, or novelty act might just need to be seen more to build up a big enough fanbase to crack the Top 10. Those styles aren't as easily accessible as dance or music. It levels the playing field to let past Semifinalists and Quarterfinalists audition again.
What do you think? What changes would you like to see on America's Got Talent? Sound off below.